World

LUCKNOW – At least 15 children were killed and 45 others injured after a school bus they were travelling in collided with a truck in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The crash happened on Thursday morning in Etah, around 265km (164 miles) from the state’s capital, Lucknow.

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The area is nearly 270 kilometres southeast of country’s capital city New Delhi.

In a statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished by the tragic accident”, Indian media reported.

The exact cause of the accident was yet to be ascertained. However, poor visibility because of dense fog could be the main reason behind the crash.

The state’s education authorities had closed all schools in the district due to a severe cold wave. Authorities would check why the school had stayed open, according to NDTV.

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India has the world’s highest number of road deaths, with an accident taking place every four minutes.

More than 146,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2015.

Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles.

In Pakistan, earlier this month, seven students and a driver were crushed to death and eight others sustained critical injuries when a Karachi-bound train hit two motorcycle rickshaws at Jalalpur Railway Crossing near Lodhran district of Punjab.

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The children, all aged between six and 10, were on their way to school when the train ploughed into them.